Exploring storytelling and the Commonwealth in P4 - a photo blog

Aurelie Norman, a class teacher from Wardie Primary School in Edinburgh recently took part in our Authors Live Teacher Champions project. We asked Aurelie to develop a classroom project inspired by our Authors Live: Storytelling Relay event. As that event was about sharing stories from Commonwealth contries Aurelie decided to explore the Commonwealth with her P4 pupils through storytelling. The pupils began by developing their own storytelling skills before producing their own stories to share. One of the most exciting things for us in the Scottish Book Trust school's team was how Aurelie was then able to stretch her small budget to roll the project out to the entire school.

Here is a photo diary of the project to tell you more:

Peter Chand during Authors Live: Storytelling Relay
Wardie Primary P4 pupils draw images whilst listening to classical music
The pupils watched Authors: Live Storytelling Relay, as well as a Horrible Histories clip about the Commonwealth

To start thinking about storytelling and imagery the pupils listened to 4 pieces of classical music and drew pictures of how each piece made them feel. The music included Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Holst's Planet Suite, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake.

Storytelling resources
Wardie Primary P4 pupils use Storyworld cards to practice storytelling skills
The pupils spent several sessions playing storytelling games using various storytelling resources to build up their confidence and skills. They played with Storyworld cards...
Rory's Storycubes being used to practice storytelling skills
Silly sentences
...Rory's Story Cubes... and silly sentences.
Parents visited Wardie Primary pupils to share stories from their childhood
Parents visited Wardie Primary pupils to share stories from their childhood
Parents visited to share some of their own personal stories of childhood or well known tales. Some even contributed their own resources. Children listened and asked questions afterwards. They were looking for features they liked to use in their own stories.
Wardie Primary's storytelling tent
sharing stories
A storytelling tent was set up in the corner of the classroom along with resources, puppets and a storytelling hat, giving the pupils a space to practice their storytelling skills in spare periods. After practicing telling their stories the pupils created story maps and shared them with P2 pupils.


The project was a huge success with the P4 pupils. Many went on to write down their own stories too after having enjoyed telling them to each other. One pupil wrote his own play script and performed it to the rest of the class. It has been wonderful to see previously shy pupils take part fully and with confidence.

Having explored the Commonwealth, P4 are now moving on to learn about the Middle Ages through storytelling, and the learning doesn't stop there! The next step is to roll this storytelling model out to every other class in the school, from P1 to P7. Boxes of storytelling resources, novels and non-fiction have been put together around the topics each class is covering this term. They'll be using storytelling to explore history, science and maths subjects.

It's definitely a project that is here to stay!



Aurelie Norman

Aurelie is a class teacher at Wardie Primary School in Edinburgh. She took part in Scottish Book Trust's Authors Live Teacher Champions project in 2013-14.